Ghana has banned nudity or pornographic materials in locally produced movies following the passage of the Development and Classification of Film Bill, 2016, into law by the country’s legislature.

The new law gives protection to children from adult content, especially, at movie screening, exhibition and premiering centers. It repeals the Cinematography Act, 1961 (Act 76) and the Cinematographer Amendment Decree, 1975 (NRCD 350).

Section 20 of the new law demands the establishment of a National Film Board.

The Board has the responsibility “not to approve for exhibition, a film it considers to be pornographic”.

Section 19 (4) which classifies movies as U – Universal for all categories of persons, subsections (b, c, d, e respectively) rated PG, 12, 15, and 18 also prevents children from entering film exhibition centers.

Section 23, clauses 1, 2, and 3 respectively further states that “a person shall not attend a film exhibition which that person is not qualified to attend by virtue of the classification of the film under section 19 (4).

“A person, who exhibits a film under a license issued under this Act, shall not permit another person who is disqualified by virtue of classification of film to enter or remain on the premises where the exhibition is taking place.”

It continues that: “Where the exhibitor of a film is of the opinion that a person who wishes to enter or remain on the premises or theatre for the exhibition is disqualified by virtue of the classification, the exhibitor shall refund the entrance fee paid by that person and send that person away from their premises or theatre.”

The new law seeks to provide the legal framework for the production, regulation, nurturing and development of the Ghanaian film industry, and for the distribution, exhibition and marketing of films and for related matters.

The Act also establishes a National Film Authority to promote the creation of a conductive environment for the local production, distribution, exhibition and marketing of films.